U.S. Rejects Russian Plan to Allow Iran to Enrich Some Uranium

Russia has offered to let Iran do some atomic research if it refrains from enriching uranium on an industrial scale for seven to nine years, diplomats said during a second day of International Atomic Energy Agency meetings in Vienna, Austria, according to Reuters.

But Washington rejected any concession to let Iran feed uranium gas into a small centrifuge enrichment cascade, saying it would enable Iran to acquire bomb-making technology.

“The international community has spelled out what Iran must do — that means suspend all enrichment activity,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, the Associated Press reported.

The United States is trying to move toward a U.N. Security Council rebuke of Iran but needs Russia’s go ahead.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and planned to meet with President Bush on Tuesday.

Iran has said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, but it hid atomic research from the IAEA for 18 years.